The Premier League has continued to throw up another beautifully unpredictable season with the top, middle and bottom of the league incredibly hard-fought and the relegation battle looks set to go to the wire.
While Manchester City currently sit at the top of the league with the Champions League spots below them more tightly fought over than the summit of the table, it is the scrap at the bottom that tends to go the distance and draws the most attention on the final day of the season.
At the time of writing, Norwich City (17 points), Watford (15) and Burnley (14) make up the bottom three, with Newcastle, Everton, Leeds and Brentford just above them. Despite being in 18th-place at the time of writing, it is Norwich that are apparently the most likely to go down at 1/12.
Norwich have looked out of their depth in the league once again, with the side seemingly excelling in the Championship one season only to immediately fall through the Premier League trapdoor the next. For the fans it will be incredibly frustrating to see them fail to stay in the top league of English football, and it seems as though they will once again fail to maintain their Premier League status if the betting is to be believed, with their four wins, 14 goals scored and 50 goals conceded simply not good enough.
The next most likely side to go down is Sean Dyche’s Burnley. A mainstay of the Premier League over the last few years, Burnley are really struggling to come good in the league for one major reason, and that is their lack of goals. They have hit the back of the net on just 17 occasions, with their forwards failing to back up a defence that has been quite strong, only conceding 29 goals, less than both Manchester United (32) and West Ham (33). This impressive defensive unit will have to hope that their forwards can find a way to hit the back of the net more regularly but, with their struggles well documented this season, it seems as though they will be falling out of the Premier League this year.
Watford (who can be backed at 1/7 with the Coral betting offer) are another side that are fancied to go down after winning just four matches this year at the time of writing. Roy Hodgson has been given the unenviable job of trying to arrest their slump, but the bookies and fans seem to believe that they will be one such side that are left to battle in the Championship next year.
Above these three are Newcastle (10/3), Leeds (11/2) and Brentford (5/1), with Everton (5/1) not really fancied to go down despite their struggles. Newcastle have really impressed lately with three straight wins over Leeds, Everton and Aston Villa seeing them climb out of the relegation zone. Leeds, meanwhile, were recently hammered by Everton in a 3-0 loss, while Brentford drew 0-0 with Crystal Palace, which keeps the pair very much in the battle to avoid relegation.
The interesting thing about this season’s Premier League relegation battle is that there are only 10 points between 14th and 20th, with a few wins seeing a side rise a long way up the table, while a few defeats could see a side that seemed in relative safety suddenly looking very nervously over their shoulders.